Libraries program connects prisoners

An innovative program that supplies the Wooroloo Prison Farm with current books and DVDs is helping prisoners feel connected with loved ones.

Shire of Mundaring libraries have been supplying the prison with reading and viewing material for the past six months as part of the Libraries Prison Program.

Wooroloo Prison Farm Senior Activities Officer Agostino Vallelonga travels to the Mundaring library with two prisoners once a month to exchange a crate of DVDs. Several crates of books are exchanged every two months.

Mr Vallelonga said while there was a statewide prison library system in place, getting access to the latest popular fiction was often limited.

One of the prisoners who selected DVDs in June said the program kept him connected to friends and family.

“The whole prison is excited when we get new DVDs because they help pass the time.

“When we get to read current books, we can talk to our family and friends about them and it makes us feel connected.”

Shire President Helen Dullard said a mixture of new items, popular fiction, classics and non-fiction books were requested by prisoners prior to pick-up.

“Shire employees also select a range of books the prisoners might be interested in reading.

“Given the enthusiastic response from prisoners and prison staff, the program will continue to run in the foreseeable future.”